My work broadly covers the cultural, social, and policy implications of emerging technologies, primarily social media. I am interested in how social media makes large audiences available to individuals, and how these audiences affect identity, self-presentation, and interpersonal relationships. Currently, I am working on a book project investigating how people come to believe far-right, fringe, and conspiratorial (dis) information they encounter online (what we usually call far-right online radicalization), tentatively titled Down the Rabbit Hole.

I am a qualitative social scientist in Communication and Media Studies, located primarily in the subfield of Internet Studies. My methods include ethnography, interviews, focus groups, discourse analysis, and cultural studies. I like multimethodological work and enjoy working with critical, interpretive, qualitative, and quantitative scholars.

If you’ve never read any of my work, my most-cited paper (by far) is “I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: Twitter users, context collapse, and the imagined audience.” Danah boyd and I wrote this piece based on research I did as a PhD intern at Microsoft Research in 2009; it is the first scholarly piece on what danah calls “context collapse.” Here’s the PDF.

My current research areas are:

For a complete listing of my work with links to PDFs of articles (including work on a bunch of other stuff) please see my Publications page. To see what I’m working on in Spring 2024, please see my Current Research page.

Please note that full drafts of papers in review or being workshopped are not linked here as they may change substantively before publication. Please email me for a copy of the current draft. 

I am interested in far-right extremist subcultures, such as the alt-right and male supremacist groups, and how they use social media to spread propaganda, manipulate mainstream media, and conduct systemic harassment. Given that most social media technologies were based on idealistic visions of human interaction, they are easily exploited by bad actors. Institutions like journalism and academia have been slow to adapt, and their adherence to practices developed in the age of broadcast media has, for the most part, allowed them to be exploited very efficiently and ruthlessly by extremist groups. For instance, the emphasis on “free speech” on platforms like Reddit and Twitter has made them rife with hateful speech and harassment, while the mainstream media’s desire to show “both sides of the story” has allowed white supremacist and misogynist points of view to be positioned as equally valid as anti-racist and feminist perspectives.

From 2020-2022, I am an Andrew Carnegie Fellow, working on a project called “Redpills and Radicalization: Understanding Disinformation’s Impact.” Abstract:

The rise of far-right extremism in the United States and across the world has led to political fractioning, violence, and a mainstreaming of hateful content. Many different far-right groups use the internet to recruit others to their ways of thinking, a term colloquially referred to as “redpilling.” There is a strong popular belief that exposure to extremist content online leads to far-right radicalization and even violence. Understanding why individuals commit ideologically motivated mass violence is of the utmost importance, as is determining the role of social media platforms in hosting and amplifying harmful content. However, the conventional wisdom around online radicalization is deeply simplistic and unsupported by evidence. This project questions popular and scholarly narratives of redpilling and online radicalization, asking instead how and why people come to believe fringe, false, or extremist viewpoints that they encounter on social media platforms.

This project has resulted in a literature review, one paper in press, and three in review.

My CITAP colleagues and I have developed an approach that we call “Critical Disinformation Studies” that centers history, politics, and power when considering disinformation. We believe that disinformation is not new, is not caused by social platforms, and is linked with much longer histories of systemic falsehoods that underpin systems of inequality (such as anti-Blackness or misogyny). I highly recommend my essay with Rachel Kuo for an overview of this approach.

Fake news, disinformation, and media manipulation:


Male supremacist movements and gendered harassment:

  • Marwick, A. & Caplan, R. (2018). “Drinking Male Tears: Language, the Manosphere, and Networked Harassment.” Feminist Media Studies. Published online before print. [Link] [PDF]
  • Marwick, A. (2017). “Scandal or Sex Crime? Gendered Privacy and the Celebrity Nude Photo Leaks.” Ethics and Information Technology, 19(3), 177-191. [Link] [PDF]

Networked harassment:


My motivation in researching online privacy is to interrogate victim-blaming discourses that maintain that privacy violations are the fault of the victim, whether for putting “too much” information online or not protecting themselves appropriately. In contrast, I have been working out a theory of networked privacy that maintains that privacy violations are inevitable as a result of the social connections made possible by social media, the technical affordances of platforms, and large-scale data-mining and surveillance. These violations are inevitably most difficult for people marginalized in other areas of their lives, meaning that privacy should be seen as a social justice issue. My focus so far in this area has been socio-economic status, although my current research discusses gendered privacy which examines “revenge porn,” harassment, doxing, and nude photo leaks as privacy issues that are more likely to happen to women, nonbinary, trans, and queer folks.

Other recent work interrogates the privacy paradox, which basically asks why people claim to care about their privacy while posting personal data online. I find this line of questioning quite frustrating. Information provision online is not and should not be a proxy of privacy concern. This ignores the vast social benefits that participating online provides, and it ignores the fact that people delineate between information like health data, credit card numbers, nude photos etc. and social information (pictures, birthday, likes and dislikes). I am also interested in the privacy calculus literature, which maintains that people make a cost-benefit decision when providing information. My two papers with Eszter Hargittai suggests that people think privacy violations are inevitable, and instead do what they can to mitigate their impact.​

Privacy and Marginalized Individuals

Networked Privacy, Privacy Practices, and the Privacy Paradox

Surveillance Studies


I no longer work very much on online celebrity, the practice of micro-celebrity, or consumer culture, but I am extremely flattered that my earlier work on the subject still has significant uptake . However, if you want to interview someone about TikTok influencers, or need an outside reader for your dissertation on [awesome related topic], I am no longer your gal– there are a plethora of talented junior academics working on these issues who keep up with the field more than I do.

My primary lens through which to examine online celebrity is as a practice  that requires emotional labor and self-censorship. If you want to read my thoughts on this, the best source is Chapter 3 of Status Update (“the Fabulous Lives of Micro-celebrities”), where I talk extensively about micro-celebrity practice and provide multiple case studies from Silicon Valley during the Web 2.0 era.


  • Marwick, A. (2019). “The Algorithmic Celebrity: The Future of Internet Fame and Microcelebrity Studies.” In Abidin, C. and Brown, M.L. (eds), Microcelebrity around the Globe: Approaches to Cultures of Internet Fame. Bingley UK: Emerald Group Publishing, pp.161-169. [Scanned Book Chapter PDF]
  • Marwick, A. (2015). “Instafame: Luxury Selfies in the Attention Economy.” Public Culture 27(1): 137-160. [Link] [Pre-Print PDF]
  • Marwick, A (2015). “You May Know Me from YouTube: (Micro)-Celebrity in Social Media.” In Marshall, D. & Redmond, S. (eds), A Companion to Celebrity. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 333-350. [Pre-Print PDF]
  • Marwick, A. and boyd, d. (2011). “To See and Be Seen: Celebrity Practice on Twitter.” Convergence 17(2): 139 – 158.  [Link] [PDF]
  • Marwick, A. and boyd, d. (2011). “I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: Twitter Users, Context Collapse, and the Imagined Audience.” New Media and Society 13(1): 114-133.  [Link] [PDF]